Virginia Tech Football: Ashby named Preseason All-American by Athlon Sports


Virginia Tech linebacker Rayshard Ashby earns All-American nod alongside former cornerback Caleb Farley in Athlon Sports’ Preseason All-American list

Virginia Tech linebacker Rayshard Ashby has been named to Athlon Sports’ Third-Team All-American Preseason team.

The 5′ 10″ Chesterfield, Va. linebacker was named to the Third-Team, All-American list alongside former VT cornerback Caleb Farley, who recently opted out of the 2020 NCAA season in preparation for the 2021 NFL Draft.

In the absence of an actual preseason, Athlon Sports noted in their preamble before introducing the lists that these teams were generated based on how they predict these players will perform in 2020. In addition, they noted that prior accolades and accomplishments did play a role in the construction of these teams but circled back to emphasize that the predicted 2020 performance was the largest factor that was taken into consideration.

When looking back on Ashby’s 2019 junior season with the Hokies, it is easy to see how those prior season stats may have come into his Third-Team All-American nod. In 2019, Ashby led the ACC with120 total tackles, was named “Linebacker of the Week” five separate times, received votes for the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year Award and was named the top linebacker in Virginia by the Touchdown Club of Richmond.

Cabel Farley, who is projected to be a top-15 2021 NFL Draft pick, also received a Third-Team All-American nomination as well. During his last season with Virginia Tech, he recorded 12 defended passes which tied him for first in the ACC and four interceptions which saw him tied for second in the ACC.

With Ashby being named a Preseason All-American, the expectations are that he will be able to replicate or even surpass the impact he made in the 2019 season. This comes even during extreme circumstances playing in a world with COVID concerns and a new defensive coordinator in Justin Hamilton.